Personal Ungdomskort story
When talking about public services in Denmark, I can’t help myself but feel a little disappointed. From my experience, it is better to call twice or more to make sure the information you get is correct. Unfortunately, I can’t blame this on miscommunication as danes are more than great at English and that has not been an issue so far. However, today I went through a rollercoaster of emotions all thanks to DSB. DSB or Danske Statsbaner is the leading train operating company in Denmark and you would expect them to know their stuff when it comes to commuting. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
When I lived in Copenhagen, not a lot of issues were met as I mainly used my Rejsekort when commuting so Ungdomskort was not a thing for me back then. However, I moved to the city of Horsens to continue studying and here is where the story begins.
Ungdomskort is a discount commuter card used by students in full-time education to get from home to the place of study for cheaper than using any other ticket type. This is extremely helpful for those who, like me, live far away from their place of study (for me the distance is around 75km).
So naturally I picked up my Ungdomskort and begun my studies. First issues started when I had to change from DSB train to Arriva which is a separate company. From time to time, when a specific conductor was working on the Arriva train I had to explain that I am allowed to take their train since it is part of my route to school. Unfortunately this lady would not take my word for it and this issue was never solved as quoted: “you can’t use the Arriva train since we do not get money for it from DSB”. I still don’t see how it is my issue as I am just taking the route my Ungdomskort is paid for, but I put that case to rest.
I got lucky to get a job in Aarhus so the big question was – can I use my Ungdomskort to commute to work as well? Obviously, I checked my Ung-kort account and the map there showed that I can travel to and from Aarhus free of charge – great! The only issue is that, depending on the day or mood of the conductors, I was told multiple times that I am not allowed to take the train. Sometimes I just got told to not do it again, sometimes they will let me continue my journey and not say a thing and sometimes I was told to get off the train or pay for a ticket. Thankfully, a fine was never brought up.
So for the past 5-6 months I was taking the train to Aarhus and paying for tickets that covered the travel zones my Ung-kort was apparently not paying for (as told by some conductors). Needless to say that this was extremely costly adding up to what I already paid for my Ung-kort, in fact, I could pay for more than 5 Ung-korts with the money spent on tickets and Rejsekort.
The call that changed it all
Last month I received my Ung-kort for this month and noticed that the usual route between Horsens-Skanderborg-Herning had been changed without my notice to Horsens-Vejle-Herning. What this meant for me is that I could not take my usual route to school and had to pay even more to get to Aarhus as Skanderborg was not on the route anymore.
I called Ungdomskort and this is what blew my mind.. After explaining the situation I have been in for the past months, I was told that I can not only travel free to and from school, but to Aarhus, everything around Aarhus and even to Randers without any additional payment. So this whole time I was told to pay, get off the train and none of my comments were taken in notice, while I was in the right..
I want to say that the lady I was talking to on the phone was extremely nice and came forward with an apology as well as suggested for me to collect all of my receipts for the tickets and Rejsekort transactions I made and to send them to Ungdomskort (without promising that anything will be done in this matter). However, this is completely not acceptable that the train staff has no clue if and where the passenger is allowed to travel with the card and will put the blame on me when it definitely should not be.
I will keep you updated how this will be resolved (if it will be) as I have sent all of my receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org
However, always call if you have any questions or concerns about your travels and if you are not sure about the first call, do it again and again ’till you know for sure what your rights are. Don’t take the conductors word for it and triple check where you are allowed to travel. This gave me way too many headaches and stressful commutes and I wish you won’t have to go through it like I did.
Take care and safe travels!